The process of creating a tiny home from inception to completion is straightforward enough. It’s kind of like planting a seed and tending it as it grows to maturity. Planning your tiny house project is like nurturing your vision for better living, greater freedom, and peace. Though a simple enough process, it can be a challenge. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone or without help. Consider the basic steps below as a sort of guide to the big picture of realizing your dream from the moment of idea right up to the day you open the door and step inside. While there are details unique to each of these steps, Mustard Seed will be there to help you grow your dream.
STEP 1: DECIDE TO GO TINY
Something we hear many people say when thinking about going tiny is this.. ”We want to reduce our home cost and simplify our lives”. This statement perfectly describes the beginning of ‘tiny living enlightenment’. Freedom from the burden of debt.. and “stuff”. Instinctively and intellectually, we understand that it just makes sense. A smaller footprint on our surroundings, fewer expenses, less debt, less hassle, and less distraction from what’s important. And what’s so important? Living! Once a person walks through a well-built and thoughtfully designed tiny house that contains all the comforts of home, and considers that the cost and maintenance is a fraction of the burden they currently have, they run to it. At the end of the day, there is a peace and freedom to this lifestyle that we all instinctively desire, no matter where or how we live.
STEP 2: DECIDE BUDGET
Before actually shopping for a builder, consider your budget. How much you want to spend can be based on available cash, financing, monthly payments, etc. Then before you decide on a particular design, do some window shopping. Get a feel for the market. Then settle on a target budget for your tiny house project that “fits” both your financial goals and your idea for your new lifestyle. Knowing what you want to spend gives you a strong starting point that helps drive the outcome of both your design and your builder.
Once you know your budget, think about what you WANT and what you NEED. Then consolidate those two driving points into a single SOLUTION. When you reach out to our team at Mustard Seed, we’ll begin the process of making that vision a reality. We also have popular standard models already designed with a layout, materials, and finishes to create a beautiful, long-lasting home.
STEP 3: THE THREE “L”s
Land: The first thing you have to determine is where you will place your tiny house. Particularly if you plan on living in your tiny home as a permanent residence. You may own the property, have a family member or friend with space, or even an approved rental lot. Many cities and counties have no restrictions, while others do. Whatever decision you make, don’t pass by this step. Knowing where you are placing your home legally before buying is crucial.
Laws: Due to the explosion of interest in tiny house living, many municipalities have begun approving placement of tiny homes through amendments to their ordinances. Others have some restrictions for square footage, temporary vs. permanent placement, and others have no restrictions. So you should make sure that your county or city allows it. Unlike an RV, your tiny home is built like an actual house and permanently attached to a steel frame/trailer that can be anchored to a foundation slab or pilings. So when speaking to local officials, make sure they understand the difference. The American Tiny House Association has some great information on local laws and is a wonderful place to start your research in this important area.
Loans: This is a big one! It used to be VERY difficult to find a good loan for a tiny house. Most were high APR personal loans or RV loans. However, realizing tiny houses are unique from RVs, more and more financial institutions are coming around and opening their products up to more competitive loans these days. We have seen many offers across the board regarding APR and terms that are more competitive. Be encouraged because one thing is for sure – the loans are getting better and better out there for tiny living enthusiasts!
STEP 4: QUOTE & DESIGN TIME (Planning & Design Consultation)
How exciting! It’s time to choose your design! You’ve decided on your budget and location and now it’s time to fine-tune the details of your home. Architecturally, you may lean towards minimalist, modern, traditional, or one of many other design styles. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your tiny home! Whether you want one of our standard models “as is”, with slight customization, or a ground-up custom build, we are here to help you. Our Planning and Design Consultation focuses on this very important process. Your budget will help guide some of the design outcomes organically, but dream big! Our team at Mustard Seed excels in combining budget with the features you desire to help you arrive at home.
STEP 5: CONTRACT AND START BUILD
It’s time to build! We will use the outcome from your Planning & Design Consultation as our starting point to arrive at an exact contract price for your new tiny home. A final quote consisting of an itemized list for each feature comes together along with a parts & materials list and an illustrated floor plan. As with all our builds, your home will be inspected and certified by Bildsworth International, or NOAH to insure building code is being met each step of the way. With this certification, you will have no problem with a loan and insurance. Plus, you will have the peace of mind knowing your home was built to standards that are unsurpassed in the industry.
HOME AT LAST!
Your tiny house is complete! We followed the plans, your design, and preferences. We have talked countless times over the phone and in person. Every detail of your home has been considered and implemented for your maximum satisfaction. Every switch, outlet, line, and feature tested and retested for functionality and quality. Checklists are all checked.
Now only a few short months after we began, you are now the proud owner of a brand new tiny home. It is ready for you to move in and start enjoying the lifestyle you dreamed of. Your exciting adventure in tiny living is a reality. Congratulations from Mustard Seed Tiny Homes!